Dear Mark: PUFAs

In last week’s Dear Mark I took up a reader question about trans fats. While we’re on the fat subject, I figured it was a good time to keep the conversation going and cover an email I got last week about polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Thanks to Brent for this one.

I loved your posts on trans fats last week, but now you have me wondering about all the other truths I know but can’t explain. How about polyunsaturated fat? When I was reading the Definitive Guide to Oils, I was having a rough time remembering exactly why PUFAs aren’t recommended. Can you jog my memory, Mark?

Let me take this one apart – separate out the good PUFA from the bad from the downright ugly. We’re talking everything from grains to nuts, corn and canola oil to fish oil. When it comes to PUFAs, it truly is a mixed bag.

What Are They?

Chemically speaking, polyunsaturated fats have more than one (hence the “poly”) double bond in their carbon chain. They’re further determined by the position of these double bonds in relation to the end of the molecule. For example, omega-3s sport a double bond three “links” down from the “methyl” end of the molecule.

These double-bonded carbon links are in essence missing their hydrogen atoms. (As you recall, if all the links have their hydrogen, you’re looking at a fully saturated fat.) Because they’ve got multiple “incomplete” double bonds to their name, polyunsaturated fats are, as a class, chemically unstable and prone to oxidation.

What Do They Do?

PUFAs can be a real Jekyll and Hyde. On the one hand, PUFAs include the essential fatty acids, including our favorite omega-3s. But when oxidation comes into play, we’re looking at a whole different animal. Heating in particular sets a bad course in motion, but simply exposure to air, light and even moisture can incite the process. We’re now looking at lipid peroxides, which initiate a free radical free-for-all. The free radicals make their way through the body pillaging at every turn. Their damage takes a toll on everything from cell membranes, to DNA/RNA strands, to blood vessels (which can then lead to plaque accumulation). The harm adds up over time in the organs and systems of the body and can cause significant impact, including premature aging and skin disease, liver damage, immune dysfunction, and even cancer.

What’s a Good Primal Type To Do?

Grok – and even Grandma – got their fat intake mostly in saturated forms. (Who among us doesn’t love butter, lard, tallow, and the like?) These days, we drown ourselves in PUFAs with all the vegetable oils (typically corn, canola, soybean, sunflower and safflower) we use. It’s a completely unnecessary response to the saturated fat scare that CW has drummed up over the last several decades. Those clowns that think Canola oil, no matter how rancid it’s gotten sitting in a hot warehouse for 10 months, is somehow still preferable to Grandma’s fresh rendered lard.

On the other side of the spectrum, some strict paleo followers, for example, choose to forgo nuts and seeds and their oils. I agree that avoiding PUFAs in general is a good rule of thumb, but I straddle the line – with a little extra time and care – in order to take advantage of what I deem valuable nutrient (PUFA) sources.

I like my nut butter (which I make myself) and occasional seeds for my salads. I buy them raw and as fresh as possible from sources I research. I’m a stickler for proper storage. Opaque containers. Refrigeration. Although I enjoy some nut oils on salads or other dishes now and then, I rarely buy them because I don’t want the remainder going bad in my frig. (Besides, I’d rather eat the whole foods in most cases than bother with a lineup of oils that had to go through at least some processing. I keep a couple good bottles of great quality cold-pressed olive oil (which, as you’ll remember, is mostly monounsaturated anyway) around and use them up quickly. Look for the darkest bottles you can find. Dated products are even better.

As for fish oil, I use and suggest the same basic principles. Buy the freshest products you can find. Buying direct from a reputable manufacturer offers the advantage of minimizing storage and transport time/scenarios. Some research suggests that taking fish oil with vitamin E reduces oxidation within the body. Refrigerate fish oil supplements to prolong freshness, but use them up in a timely manner.

Finally, I make sure my diet is chock-full of antioxidants (including vitamin E) and minerals to counter any oxidative stress from PUFAs or any other source. As careful as I try to be with PUFAs, there’s nothing wrong with a little extra insurance.

Now it’s your turn. Let me know your take – and intake (or not) – of PUFAs. Thanks as always for the questions and comments, and keep ‘em coming!

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About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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98 thoughts on “Dear Mark: PUFAs”

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    1. It can be easy. Paleo diets foster fresh, nutritiously uncomplicated animal fats- bovine, lamb, pork, chicken (some), wild salmon, sea food, elk etc; it’s all there. Fresh nuts that have been soaked 24+ hours to get rid of enzyme inhibitors, water changed three times getting clearer with each rinse, then dried, adds to variety. Low calorie veg (if you must) some wild berries and Bob’s your uncle, life becomes so simple.
      Worst bugaboo? The idea that eating is supposed to be full of variety, exciting and entertaining. There is so much more to entertainment than a meal with dishes (work) for clean up. There are so many social activities to fill those other hours when eating goes primal.

    2. I am fed up with the whole hype concerning good/bad oils!

      I try to keep an open mind. I started using Coconut Oil in place of my usual Virgin Olive Oil, which I have used forever, I am 74.

      The next thing I know. I had to get the plumber in, sink was blocked with …yes …you’ve guessed …coconut oil residue! Olive oil can’t do that!

      How ayone can recommend something, which returns to solid when it cools beats me. I should have listened to my instinct.

      Back to Virgin Olive Oil for me….Best of Luck in your searching.

      1. Coconut oil turns to liquid in the mid 80’s F. Fortunately our body temperature is in the upper 90’s. All you can take from your experience is that since pipes generally run below room temperature, coconut oil will clog them. What you’re saying is akin to saying that we shouldn’t eat salt because it causes snails to dissolve. If you were to cut the fat off of your midsection and put it in the fridge, it would turn solid just like the fat on the side of a cut of steak. Please continue to keep an open mind. Ponder this- fish have a large amount of omega 3 in their fat because they swim in water sometimes that is close to freezing. If fish stored energy as saturated fat, they would turn hard as soon as the water got too cold. We live in warm temps, and have adapted to fats that are liquid in higher temps.

        1. One more thing, Olive oil is primarily Omega 9. Your body can make all the O9 it needs so using Olive oil is only providing you with energy. If you just need more calories that’s a fine way to get them, but olive oil is really a lesser of evils. Your body can make all the fat it needs as long as you provide AL and ALA (omega 6 and omega 3). See if you can look for sources of AL and ALA that aren’t rancid or hydrogenated and your body will take care of the rest.

      2. Stop pouring it down the drain!! What a misguided reason to stop using a very healthy oil. I use a paper towel to remove any left over oil before washing in the sink or dishwasher. You might have more challenges than not knowing how to keep oil out of the sink.

      3. are you worried about your sink or your arteries? fats are saturated or unsaturated depending on the temperature of the organism, humans are warm, so we are made of saturates, which are the most stable fat for our body temperature,

      4. Coconut oil is terrific for sauteing. It has a high smoke point, and is therefore ideal (it’s also great straight from the container!). I use it every night to pan-fry my favorite provisional meats. But why throw the left-over oil down the drain? I always consume (yes…I literally drink) the coconut oil, and natural fat that gets rendered from the meats I saute. Nothing goes to waste.

      5. I use a hair dryer to warm up the u bend in the pipes and then I can usually clear the blockage by using a toilet plunger.

  1. The book The Coconut Oil Miracle does a really great job of explaining fatty acids and why the bad ones are bad and the good ones are good. 🙂

      1. Thanks for the video links. I read his book years ago and was turned onto coconut oil. It’s nice to hear the info playing while I research other sites!

  2. It’s all too complicated, Mark.

    You need to write your own book of food rules. like Michael Pollan’s, with these changes:.

    1. Have food rules
    2. Mostly simple rules
    3. Not too many (like 10)

    “Mark’s 10 Food Commandments,” maybe?

    The 50 Best Health Blogs

  3. I’m not much of a multivitamin person – I just know that they have a TON of ingredients. Do most of the name brands (like Centrum) have enough antioxidants in them to be useful, or we better off taking something more specific?

    1. multivitamins are downright harmful, avoid taking them. fish oil, vitamin B12 (1000mg/week and D3 (5000IU/day) are the only ones that can and should be taken.

      1. Vitamin D is rat poison and without proper Vit K is suspected as causing arterial calcification. Vit D kills rats by mobilizing calcium in the body. This is why people ingest it, but the notion that it magically put it into your bones is bad science.

        Vitamin D is produced by the skin (actually pre-vitamin D) but vitamin D is never ingested orally in large amounts. Most food contains absolutely 0 vitamin D except fish oil and mushrooms.

        Get your vitamin D from the sun.

        1. Not sure where your sources come from but Vit D DEFICIENCY causes hardening of arteries.

          If you’re eating a cup of kale or spinach a day (and you should be), you’re covered fro Vitamin K.

        2. when you live in Northern Canada and only have sunshine 6 weeks a year and below zero temps for the rest it’s impossible to get vitamin D from the sun. I personally had to take 50 000 units vitamin D weekly for several months and now am prescribed 5000 per day. After two years of supplements my levels are normal and I’m finally beginning to feel better. Not everyone in the world lives in warm sunny climates!

    2. centrum contains iron, only take it if you’re menstruating or have a large parasite burden

  4. Good info Mark! A few things that come to my mind:

    1. Two most important things to buy organic are coffee and butter. These are the two most chemically laden foods you can buy if you don’t choose organic.

    2. There’s more olive oil sold today than is produced, the additive? Seems to be soy oil. To test if your olive oil is pure, leave it in the fridge overnight. There should be sediments at the bottom and a slight cloudy texture in the middle of the bottle (I haven’t tried it yet).

    4. Do not eat Peanut Butter, even the natural kind; it contains a mould that has phyto-estrogens in it.

  5. I just decanted my fish oil from a large bottle to smaller one for ease of use since it was getting low. Thing is, it still smelled fishy but a little bit rancid too??? I spent a lot of money on this fish oil (!) and have kept it 100% propely stored. Is it possible it went bad? OR, should I just use it b/c its not a concern???

      1. Mark, have you thought about a Krill Oil supplement in your product line?

        On a side note, your product ‘Responsibly Slim’ has ingredients like soy protein isolate, sunflower oil creamer and mineral blends in oxide form that is probably not the most bio-available. Would you agree that some of these are not very healthy?

        1. Kishore, krill is no better (or worse) than fish oil. It all comes down to which resource you feel you’d rather not deplete first. Other than the fact that krill is more expensive, they are both excellent sources of EPA and DHA.

          As for the Responsibly Slim, it was designed initially for weight loss and as a great-tasting source of protein. I never intended for it to replace real food. The soy isolate is present as a raw source of amino acids in minute amounts (a few grams) to enhance the PER of the Whey protein. It is not the same as soy oil or soy bean (no lectins, phytoestrogens, etc). The oxide forms of minerals are not unhealthy – some might be less bioavailable.

          This could have been made as the most natural protein-powder meal replacement possible…but it would have tasted terrible – inedible, actually – and have rancidified on the shelf fairly rapidly. I chose to make it taste great, last long on the shelf and serve as a legitimate meal substitute now and then. I made it for me, and I use it regualarly.

  6. I’m just going to comment with a quote from another comment I made on a similar post about vegeteble oils:

    “I do think people forget animal fat is NOT 100% saturated – not even close. Even if you ate only animal fats you’d still be getting in a good deal of monounsaturated and some polyunsaturated fats. There’s really no need to go out of your way to eat any other kind of oil, besides a little omega-3 supplementation if you think you need it.”

    In fact, animal fats from grass-fed/pastured have an excellent omega 6:3 ratio.

    I don’t think eating some polyunsaturated oil is bad (if you follow the recommendations Mark suggests above), but if it doesn’t come natural to you to include them in your diet, you’re probably not missing out on much.

    1. Grass fed beef only has 25mg of omega-3 per ounce while corn-fed has about 10-12mg. Either way, beef is not a great source of omega-3, you need a solid fish oil supplement. Good reasons to eat organic grass-fed beef? CLA content,low pesticide load, humanely finished (lower levels of adrenaline in the cow while slaughtered) and no hormones (eventhough there is some debate that animal hormones degrade as low as 135-150F, so if you cook your meat enough, no worries).

  7. So what would the Udo’s 3-6-9 be? I started using that on my salad when I started reading the Primal Blueprint- instead of just normal Olive Oil.

    1. Omega 9 is literally olive oil. It contains oleic acid which is found in olive oil and canola oil. Don’t bother wasting your money on supplements that sound fancy. Omega 3’s are from fatty fish or from EPA and DHA supplements, while omega 6 is found pretty regulary in most diets: corn oil, soybean oil, cottonseed, and safflower oils. Omega 6 is used in a lot of processed and fried foods, so normally people should be more concerned with their Omega 3’s. Either eat fatty fish at least 2x a week or take a EPA and DHA supplement. I would stick with sprinking a little bit of regular olive oil on your salad to save money. It’s a good supplement, but I find that omega 6 is not needed in supplemental form because it’s found pretty easily in foods.

    1. Luc, that’s a very unconvincing study, in my opinion. There are twenty years of study results favoring antioxidants and exercise. They need to do a whole lot more in this area to even begin to convince me to change my regimen.

  8. “Grok – and even Grandma – got their fat intake mostly in saturated forms.”

    Don’t forget the fat from nuts, almonds, seeds, wild olives, fish and shellfish!

  9. I like to keep it simple…

    -Coconut oil or ghee (homemade) for high heat cooking. Perfect oils for cooking a steak on the stove or making a stir-fry.

    -Olive oil to dress my salads and give them flavor. I will only eat olive oil raw, no heating.

    -I take fish oil daily.

    I don’t have access to local, grass-fed lard or tallow, but the research makes me believe they are very good to use for cooking.

  10. Most vitamin E oil [capsules] is made from soy oil.

    I take fermented cod liver oil daily. Because of oxidation, I take it with red palm oil, which is naturally high in full-spectrum vitamin E oil and saturated fat.

    A few years ago The New Yorker magazine did a story on [imported] olive oil (perhaps the article is on-line). Because demand is greater than supply, many of the producers/companies add soy bean oil to it. So, you have to be really, really careful that the olive oil you purchased (particularly, from Spain) is 100% olive oil. I’m lucky, in that I am able to get olive oil directly from the producer here in northern California.

    1. Yup, that’s why I’ve switched to using olive oil only from California sources. I can even get it at the local farmer’s market.

      I also use fermented high-vitamin CLO. I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that the fermentation process actually preserved and protected the oil from oxidation. I still consume it within about two months of opening the bottle, but I store it at room temp to make it easier to poor into the spoon. If kept in the fridge it gets very cloudy and viscous.

  11. Great article Mark! Awesome info! There are just so many kinds of fats: good fats and bad fats! I take my fish oil. Antioxidants are so good for us. I liked what you said about getting the freshest products. That will help! Enjoyed the article, thanks!


    1. If oxygen radicals are so bad, why is exercise so good? Think about it. We need occasional intense oxidative stress to keep our endogenous production of antioxidants in top shape.

      1. Late to the party, I know, but since this is highly read I thought I’d answer:

        Laura, the most oxidative forms of exercise (marathon running, heavy lifting, etc.) are actually NOT good for you. That is to say, regular practitioners of extreme exercise do not live longer than the general population and it is precisely because of oxidative stress. Those who exercise moderately (brisk walk, casual cycling, etc.) show the greatest life extension benefits as well as quality of life). Regular, but not frequent, moderate lifting (or push/pull ups) and even less frequent exertion (sprinting, hard cycling) for very short periods have their place but there is no doubt that there is a trade off.

  12. There is enough minimal PUFA in meat (beef, pork, etc.) to give you all that is required. I would not touch vegetable oils or nuts.

    1. A bit late on commenting here….but YES I read this ray peat article recently too. And it seriously makes me question the use of any PUFA or Fish Oils!! Sounds to me like fish oils are all just a bunch of rancid and toxic fats and also that Essential fatty acids are a total con! Not ‘essential’ at all. It just gets repeated over and over and over that EFA’s and DHA are so good for our health but are they really??? I would love to hear Mark’s opinion of this ray peat article?

    1. I researched this online, and found that there’s about three times as much PUFA as MUFA or saturated fat in sunflower seeds. And of the PUFA, it is almost all omega-6; there’s only trace omega-3. So sunflower seed butter wouldn’t rank too highly. Most commercially produced sunbutter has a ton of sugar in it anyway.

  13. No natural fat is exclusively made up of saturated, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids but some permutation of all three.

    You could just eat animal sources of fat (no nuts or seeds) and get plenty of polyunsaturated fats – including the omega-3s from fatty/oily fish like salmon.

    This is the direction I take.

    1. As do I. I don’t even think eating fish is strictly necessary as long as your sources for mammal/poultry meat are pastured, since pastured meat typically has a good ratio of omega-6 fats to omega-3s in the first place. It’s also arguable that the genus Homo evolved in the grasslands of central, eastern, and southern Africa, as did our predecessors, the Australopithecines, and so would not have had much access to fish anyway. They were, however, evidently big ruminant eaters, which is one reason why I like to base my diet on beef and lamb (nothing to do with those being delicious foods, of course. Nothing at all.)

      That is not to say that fish should be avoided – quite the opposite, really. I personally love the taste of fatty fish and eat smoked salmon or sardines once or twice a week. I try to source my meat, dairy, and eggs properly, so I don’t worry too much about the omega-3/omega-6 issue.

      Of course all that comes with the caveat that I avoid industrial vegetable oils like the dickens and cook most of my food in pastured butter or beef tallow anyway. 😉 I think all the nutritionist types who are jumping on the fish oil train would do much better to recommend people stop eating vegetable oils, but that’s just me…

  14. QUITTING fish oil was one of the best health decisions I took lately. Heavy metals, lowered immunity, disturbed glycemia were my primary reasons for trying it.

    To ensure a proper supply of intact PUFA in my diet, I get a tablespoon of freshly grinded flaxseed and a teaspoon of a sunflower/evening primrose oil mix in my cottage cheese every morning (all organic and cold press). The list of benefits over a few weeks are spectacular — especially in terms of weight and appetite control, mood stabilization, stamina, stopped gum bleeding, and relief of all sort of aches.

    This convinced me that overdosing on fish oil may be as bad an idea, if not worse, as overdosing on omega 6. We keep reading that we have plenty of omega 6 in our diet, but what part of it is actually intact, considering the heating, the poor storage (I’m very much with Mark on that one), not to mention all sorts of processing? Just because we get too many damaged omega 6 doesn’t necessarily mean we get enough omega 6 in general.

    To boost my EPA, I still take fish oil instead of flaxseed… on fridays only!

    1. I agree – just because omega-3’s were the ‘darling’ of the moment in health & fitness circles, everyone seemed to think the more the better! We only need them in very small amounts daily – the same with omega-6.

      Another thing that annoys me is this striving for a 2:1 or 1:1 ratio between omega-3 and omega-6. If you look at which EFA is required for (and contained within) which tissues and cells in the entire body, you will find we have a requirement for around four times the omega-6 to omega-3! So a ratio of 4:1 is more realistic.

    2. What exactly did the fish oil do to you that you didn’t like? Or what clued you in to the idea that it wasn’t for you? I’m taking (what I think is) high-quality fish oil and I’m gaining weight. Haven’t changed my (paleo-style) eating habits.

      1. PS my question was for Julot but can be for anyone who quit fish oil (weight issues, or reasons ??)



    1. Marc, that would help explain why what works for one person may not work for another. I had thought of how we might genetically be predisposed to a certain diet as ideal, but I hadn’t thought of how we humans can now so readily move wherever we want. Our jeans can arrive anywhere, but our genes might be slow to catch up, haha…

  16. Marc, no need to shout…The reason you don’t see this taken into account is because most of my readers live in parts of the world where DNA has mixed so thoroughly that we/they have become one giant international DNA mosaic retaining little, if any, of the possible localized genetic adaptions to a region in which ALL prior 300 generations lived and ate. That’s an example (one of many, actually) of why blood-type diets fail.

    1. I agree – humans are the most homogeneous species on the planet. There is very little genetic difference between races, so little in fact that on a genetic level we are all one race – the human race.

      What people mistake for genetic differences are actually epigenetic (how our environment influences which genes are expressed or not depending on where we live and what we eat). This can be passed down from generation to generation but can be altered relatively quickly, unlike actual genetic changes.

  17. Here are the oils and fats I use:

    Extra virgin coconut oil and olive oil
    a small amount of cold-pressed Grapeseed oil
    Real butter from pasture-raised cattle
    Tallow – from pastured cattle
    Lard – from pastured hogs
    Green Pastures Blue Ice Royal Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil mixture – it’s fabulous and completely digestible, even for people who have compromised immune/digestion (which applies to many people in developed countries and those who eat the Standard American Diet).

    Here’s a link to this wonderful product – best I know of on the market:

    Here’s an article I wrote about oils served in restaurants – most people who visit this site understand how unhealthy those are, but it’s important, I think, to learn why:

  18. “4. Do not eat Peanut Butter, even the natural kind; it contains a mould that has phyto-estrogens in it.”

    Then you should also drop a lot of other food deemed healthy…
    Table 1. Foods high in phytoestrogen content.
    Phytoestrogen food sources Phytoestrogen content (?g/100g)
    Flax seed
    Soy beans
    Soy yogurt
    Sesame seed
    Flax bread
    Multigrain bread
    Soy milk
    Mung bean sprouts
    Dried apricots
    Alfalfa sprouts
    Dried dates
    Sunflower seed
    Olive oil
    Green bean
    Coffee, regular
    Milk, cow

    “Some studies indicate that phytoestrogens have health benefits including potential reduction in breast cancer, prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease risks, possible protection against osteoporosis (bone loss) and menopausal symptoms. Besides, both flavonoid and lignan phytoestrogens have antioxidant activity.”

    So I’m a bit confused by your comment.

    “On the other side of the spectrum, some strict paleo followers, for example, choose to forgo nuts and seeds and their oils.”

    For me, this strains the credibility of the Paleo diet. From everything I’ve read, nuts, including peanuts, are probably the healthiest food humans can eat. I find it a shame that the year is 2011 and fairly soon we will be curing diseases with genetic manipulation and nano-technology but there is no real concensus on what we, as humans, should put in our mouths to lead a healthy life.

  19. I’ve recently found rendered duck fat and have been cooking with it. I’ve used it as a cooking oil in place of coconut oil for the time being as I’ve never had it before and am experimenting with it. Is this fat similar in benefits of beef tallow and lard??

  20. I just ordered Green Pasture Blue Ice Royal Butter Oil/Cod Liver Oil Blend non-gelatin capsules. I live in the deep south and it is mighty warm, as you know, right now. It was delivered by carrier and brought inside within a few minutes. My question: the bottle was warm, is this a problem as far as compromising the contents? Also, I tried to contact the company to ask this question, and, to ask if their products are manufactured in the U.S. I was put on hold for between 5 and 10 minutes, then was disconnected. 🙁
    Anyone have any information that would enlighten me? Thanks!

  21. It is worth remembering that the meat and dairy industry is simply an extension of the pharmaceutical and petrochemical industry. I.e a way to turn chemicals and chemical waste into profit through fertilizers, FDA enforced vaccines and long distance transport of feed, animals, carcasses and packaged meat.

    A study in Argentina found a high consumption of pasture grazed cattle did not lead to increased risk of colon cancer, unlike the results of other regions where cattle were grain fed.

    Personally I don’t eat meat, fish or dairy but regularly use hemp oil (n-6 3:1 n-3) and rapeseed oil (n-6 2:1 n-3) as well as coconut oil.

    I would not recommend heating any oil other than coconut oil for cooking purposes as this seriously affects the body’s ability to process the oil due to a chemical change once heated.

    Meat, fish, dairy and eggs are highly acidizing to the body following consumption so should equate to no more than 20-30% of each meal with the remainder being green vegetables, salads, etc.

    1. I’m just curious, isn’t rapeseed oil another name for canola oil?

      1. It used to be rapeseed (from the mustard family), but it had elements that were bothering the livestock they fed it to. So some Canadians genetically modified it, re-marketing it as “Canola”. It’s not really rapeseed anymore- it’s “genetically-modified-rapeseed”. Canola sounds better, haha… (Not that it IS better!)

        1. What I find amusing is that Canola oil – a GMO product – is also sold in an “organic Canola” version. “Organic” is supposed to mean non GMO. Non educated consumers are eating GMO!

  22. Do you keep your olive oil in the fridge? Does room temperature (and in summer a few degrees higher) already count as “heat” that would accelerate breakdown?

    Now…I’ve always kept it simply in a closed and dark cupboard and it never went bad or rancid on me, even if it took me several months to finish a (2L) bottle. I also use it pretty much exclusively for cooking and frying.

    The only oil I keep in the fridge is flaxseed oil. I always put at tablespoon of it over my morning cereal…sometimes even a bit over pasta etc..

    1. PASTA??? CEREAL???

      I’m Italian, so one of the hardest things for me to do when going Paleo is to drop the pasta.

      Pasta = wheat = not Paleo

      And I was formerly a BIG cereal-eater. Of course, cereal is made from whole-grain wheat, oats, or corn, which is also not quite so Paleo.

      To be fair though, it really hasn’t been all that difficult switching my morning cereal for morning eggs.

  23. Good editorial (with extecpion of the Ethanol part). Transportation fuel is a difficult puzzle to solve it requires changing lifestyles that we have become accustomed to. As an aside, while taxes may be 1/2 the price of fuel in some countries, the US federal gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon, and states add anywhere from 8 to 32 cents per gallon. At most, state and federal tax would be about 50 cents a gallon 1/7 of 3.50/gallon fuel in the US.I suppose they could reduce the federal tax by the amount they are subsidizing the oil industries but the price of gas would just go up to keep oil company profit the same. If the federal government just cut the tax, where would they cut spending to make up the difference? Or would they raise taxes elsewhere?Oil is just like any other product any company will make as much profit as they can the nature of any business hamburgers, jeans, gasoline. Basic supply and demand. If demand drops, the price will go down. If taxes are reduced (artificially lowering the price) consumption will go up, and oil companies will raise prices to make more money. Unfortunately, since demand is increasing world wide, expect the price to keep going up.

  24. Think happiness,open your soul to receive the ample grace of the divine.Do not fret on poly,mono,saturated,unsaturated too much.
    Eat a diet of excess omega-3 to omega-6(Polyunsaturated ).Avoid Monounsaturated as body converts sugar into monounsaturated fat.
    Eat heartily & make merry.A light heart lives long.
    Avoid Stress & Stressful situations & people.
    Eat varied food.Let your food be your first line of defense against illness .

  25. In the interest of due diligence I would like to share a well thought out approach from Matthew Bowen who researches for an endocrinologist with a focus on inflammatory and endocrine progression through the states of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and Type II diabetes.

  26. What about Hemp Oil and Grapeseed Oil? Both are PUSFA. I don’t use any industrial oils…corn, sunflower, canola (yuck!)

    1. My question is regarding organic expeller pressed grapeseed oil. Is this a safe oil to use?

  27. Mark, every meta-analysis that I could find indicates that PUFAs decrease the risk of coronary heart disease. See here for one of them. Don’t you think this is worth mentioning?

    Also, I followed your links about the free radical dangers – No one heats their oil to190 degrees Celsius for twenty minutes before cooking unless they are frying, and I think everyone believes that fried foods are unhealthy anyway (whether or not they believe this for the right reason). Moreover, the other links don’t support your claim that dietary free radicals in oils are 1) in high enough concentrations to matter and 2) result in the adverse effects you cite. The free radicals in one of the sources that you cited are from respiratory oxidation, not diet. I couldn’t tell what the source of free radicals in the other source was, but it didn’t look like diet.

  28. Dear Mark,
    When I did a little research on lard, I was surprised to find that it is pretty high in PUFAs. Granted, I can’t say how reputable the online sources of this information were that I found when I googled the nutritional content of lard. I always thought that there were mainly saturated fats in lard! I was wondering if you could ‘enlighten’ me about this (since I trust that you know where to get your facts!) ?
    Thank you!

  29. I was wondering what you thought of organic expeller pressed grapeseed oil (in a dark bottle) … Is this a oil that you would recommend using as long as you balance it with your Omega 3 intake?

  30. Lulz! I love all the superstition and pseudo-science happening on these sorts of websites. You know what your paleo diet gets you? Nutrient deficient, being 4 foot tall and dying before you’re 30.

    It’s only when we start become agrarian and getting our grains, pulses, etc. did our health, height and longevity take off. Something all you yo-yos always seem to miss. You people desperately need to read more history and more actual science because you’re only doing yourselves more harm than good. Which would be fine if it was just about you, but passing along this misinformation as actual fact harms other people as well. I look forward to the day where you clowns can and will be sued successfully.

  31. I’m leaning to the whole free radical theory developed in the 50’s is officially dead. If so then much of the discussion on this topic and many others might have to be re-thought. Food industry is dependent on all buying into this theory. if not they can’t survive

  32. what about oxidization in the body. isn’t homeostasis enough for the “good” fish oil to become rancid? I read that oils remain in adipose tissue for up to 600 days?

  33. I’m from Poland. We have a very vast plantations of canola oil here. And although most of the sources sell its refined form, I buy the cold-pressed, unrefined, unfiltered canola oil in a dark bottle and enjoy it. I also use fresh extra virgin olive oil, fresh unrefined flaxseed oil from a local manufacturer, fish oil, unrefined coconut oil and fresh high quality butter. These are my oil fundamentals. Of course I keep the omega-3 sources (flaxseed and fish oil) in a fridge and the rest in a room temperature without light. I also enjoy fat dairy, but I’m still not sure about fat meat.
    Would you have any suggestions/recommendiation for change for me?

  34. Just read on another health site that if you have the APOE alleles c/t and c/c (which I checked on 23andme) you should primarily be eating polyunsaturated and monosaturated oils in order to avoid heart disease, Alzheimer’s, stroke, and obesity. Most of these are olive, safflower, sunflower, soybean, sesame and peanut oils. Now I’m really confused because I have been eating primarily coconut oil, avocado and butter/ghee and olive oil for several years. Have been under the impression that omega 6s and 9s were bad. TMI is very confusing. 🙂